The USARacing Pro Cup Series has entered into a multi-year television partnership with Sopwith Motorsports Television Productions beginning in 2011, series officials announced today.
The Indianapolis, Ind., company creates programming for national television networks. Led by CEO Stephen Cox, Sopwith Motorsports specializes in delivering content to automotive enthusiasts and racing fans. Sopwith has provided services for networks including ESPN, ABC, NBC, America One Sports, SPEED, ESPN2, Outdoor Channel, DirecTV, MavTV and many more. Sopwith also provides video, television and film production for many of auto racing's premier companies and sponsors including Ford Motor Company, General Tire, Fabtech, Mastercraft Safety, K C HiLites and others.
USARacing Managing Partner Larry Camp called the move “pivotal” for the growth of the Pro Cup Series.
“Our ownership group has been committed to building a base that will ensure long-term growth of the Pro Cup Series,” Camp said. "A key component of that base is a television production and distribution partner that is just as committed. We've found that partnership with Sopwith Motorsports and Stephen Cox, who worked with the Series when it was known as the Hooters Pro Cup Series. He has a passion for excellence and has made a long term commitment to growing our television and web product to where it needs to be.”
Cox spent nine years as a television announcer for the series and is very pleased – both professionally and personally – to once again be working with the USARacing Pro Cup Series.
“It’s great to be involved again,” Cox said. “I have a lot of old friends in USAR. I know the cars, the people and the tracks. This is grassroots racing at its best and I'm proud to be part of it.
“We're delighted to add a stock car program to our list of properties, especially one with USARacing's credentials and background. Pro Cup provides the best door-to-door racing of any short track series in the nation. They were perfecting a championship series before anyone else even thought of it and they pack houses and attract the top short track stars. Sopwith has a full slate of off-road racing programs and we wanted to add a stock car property. We got the most prestigious series in the country. We're not just business partners with USARacing: we're fans of the series. This is the one we wanted."
Cox has served as television host for auto racing events on NBC, Fox Sports, Outdoor Channel, HD Theater and ESPN2. His past television work encompasses almost every form of motorsports in the world including international play-by-play anchor duties for the Champ Car World Series, pit reporting from the Indy 500, host of Four Wheeler TV (on both ESPN2 and the Outdoor Channel), SPEED's long-running automotive magazine Autoweek, and the Barber Dodge Pro Series. In addition to his broadcasting career, Cox has also driven professionally in the USARacing Pro Cup Series and served as Mitshbishi’s test driver for the EVO supercar.
Fans will notice numerous technical advancements in the telecasts including High Definition and several on-board cameras.
“We're anxious to develop USAR's television package,” Cox said. “We're ready to move to High Definition, to get the series back on national TV, and to elevate the entire program. This is a fun, new challenge for us. We're bringing on-board camera systems to the series and a separate camera crew to cover pit stops. We're looking forward to it.”
Sopwith Motorsports produces the Best in the Desert racing series national television programs for Fox Sports and Outdoor Channel, as well as the General Tire TROPHYLITE truck racing series. Sopwith also provides production services to H D Theater's popular "Mecum Auto Auction" series. Sopwith uses premier 1080i HD production facilities, aerial coverage via R-44 Raven helicopters, and camera crews who specialize in automotive competition.
Sopwith will also produce and handle placement for all 2010 Series programs as a prelude to the 2011 season. The entire television lineup, network affiliates and air dates and times will be released, along with Series event schedule for 2011 in the coming days.
The USAR Pro Cup Series, formerly Hooters Pro Cup, is owned by Interstate Investment Group (IIG) and is based in Concord, N.C. For more information on USARacing, visit www.usarprocup.com.